System: Nintendo 64
Publisher & Developer: Electronic Arts
Released: October 1999
Capabilities: 128-Megabits, Controller Pak & Rumble Pak Compatible, 1-4 Players
WCW Mayhem, EA's first effort for a pro
, the wrestler entrances were pretty good, but not as good as the one's in THQ's grapplers. Picture Credit(nintendosports.com)
I am rewriting this review for WCW Mayhem because I was very unsatisfied with my old one of it. I thought I covered the game well in my first review of it, but I didnt cover all the aspects of the game I wish I did. Any ways you can consider this to be my 2nd featured review, and to use a very similar format to my review of Wrestlemania 2000 for N64. This is going to be a long, in-depth review and nothing in this was added just for the intention of extra length to the review. Well enough of me babbling, lets get onto the review.
The history of WCW video games had its good and bad spots, its first major console video game was WCW Wrestling for the old NES back in 1989. It was a great first effort by FCI, and it was one of the first wrestling games to feature a finishing move system. FCI only released 2 more games after its first one, and that was Main Event for Game Boy, and Super Brawl Wrestling for the SNES. Both of those games were average and nothing special, and in 1995, WCW dropped FCI for making WCW video games.
Then THQ picked up the WCW license back in 1996 and delivered its first WCW game, WCW vs. the World in late 1996, which was the first 3-D WCW game, but the game was plagued with horrible control problems, and the developers at Inland did nothing to improve the controls in its sequels, Nitro and Thunder. But THQ did manage to deliver great games for the N64, many gamers loved the engine used in WCW vs. NWO: World Tour and it got named the 1997 fighting game of the year and its sequel WCW/NWO Revenge further improved the engine and it got the 1998 fighting game of the year. Both games were also million sellers, but WCW wasnt satisfied with THQs performance for the PSX(the system which most gamers owned) so they dropped there contract with THQ and picked Electronic Arts for its new publisher. Electronic Arts got right down to work on its first WCW game and within a year they came out with their first wrestling game called WCW Mayhem.
The Game Introduction
Well, compared to Wrestlemania 2000 this introduction was really crappy; that is if you even consider there is any introduction at all. Im sure that some cool FMV was in the Playstation version of the game, but EA didnt even bother giving us a intro using any game footage like Wrestlemania 2000 did. Heck, WCW Nitro for the N64 even used a game footage for an opening intro, and even though it sucked big time, it was better than just some dumb opening title screen. Any ways all they did for an intro was at the Electronic Arts logo screen, Tony Schivane said, Welcome to WCW Mayhem, brought to you by Electronic Arts! then you get the games theme song and the title screen. Man was that lousy or what? It didnt get me motivated or anything like WM 2000's intro did.
Right off the bat you got a total of 40 selectable WCW wrestlers and also 17 hidden wrestlers for a grand total of 57 wrestlers. Not bad. Just about every body from WCW is here. And for the ease of finding the wrestlers there are several factions that the wrestlers are divided in. First off theres the main WCW roster with the main WCW guys like Goldberg, Sing, DDP, Randy Savage, to mid-carders like Konnan, Hennig, and Wrath, and some of the hidden guys are jobbers like Bobby Blayze and Bobby Eaton. Then theres the NWO B-team faction, then the main NWO Wolfpac faction which featured Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall for their main guys, and then theres the 4 Horsemen which surprisingly includes Steve McMichaels in it, who didnt appear in a WCW telecast several months before this game was released.
The roster of the cruiserweight faction suprised, well it did feature the regular cruiserweights like Mysterio, Kidman, and all, but Chris Jericho is in there for its secret character! I mean he hasnt been in WCW either for a few months, and WCW still included him in the game! Finishing off the factions is the Hardcore faction which has a whole bunch of secret wrestler slots, but there only dumb managers like Sonny Onoo, Gene Okerlund, and Doug Dillenger. Oh, yeah and theres one last faction for wrestlers made with the...
First off, you gotta give this guy a name, but to my astonishment you cant put a friggin space between words so your guy can only have one name, or itll look plain weird if you combine his name, for example, if it's spelled DaleKulas. I dont know why they did this, but it disappointed a lot of gamers. Also in the name selection you pick which wrestlers move set hed like to use, and then youd pick the finishing move you want.
Then you get into the edit section, and all the options are there in just one big list, not organized into any directories or anything, but just sat there scrambled. And instead of just going through the whole create ordeal you have the option of choosing a template of a pre-made wrestler like a hillbilly or a ref and make any other added changes from there. You can then edit his face picking from several faces, you cant edit the nose, eyes, or mouth like in WWF Attitude, but its better than nothing. You can also pick hair types and clothing types and stuff, but you cant alter any of the colors or anything, except for hair color, but you cant change the colors of clothes, elbow pads, etc. like in other games edit modes. Also theres no easy vertical scroll list for your selections like they had in WM 2000 and Attitude and you gotta press left or right to move onto each selection, one-by-one, and to make matters worse theres a short little loading time between each selection which gets annoying very fast.
You can also choose from the various items like pads, tattoos, masks, boots, etc. but this edit costume mode has very few selections for all the choices and doesnt even come close to the amount of depth in the create-a-wrestler featured in WWF Attitude And then to finish off the editing you got to edit his personality by choosing which faction theyre in, weather hes a babyface or a heel and choose his entrance theme music. And finally you can edit his stats like strength, defense and so on.
Game Modes of Play
Main Event: This is where you choose your basic matches and so on. Theres singles 1-on-1 action. Also theres tag team, and handicap modes, and the 4 way dance, which is just a 4 person elimination match where everybody wrestles at once. And theres also battle royal mode, but its only a 4 wrestler over the top battle royal, I thought they wouldve made it up to 40 like in Revenge and was very disappointed that they didnt. You can also change options for mode like turning on or off submissions, and choose from 15 different arenas to play in, the arenas are for there Nitro, Thunder, and Saturday night sets, plus all 12 of there PPVs.
Quest for the Best: This is just like the Career mode in WWF Attitude, but minus the calendar. You pick your wrestler, and you wrestle as an unranked contender for the TV Title, and wrestling on Saturday Night broadcasts, but then youll move onto Thunders and Nitros, and after about 5 or 6 wins youll be the #1 contender and wrestle for the TV title, at the PPV. Any ways, you move along the rest of the WCW PPV roster as you win the US title, then defend it 5 times, then win the World Title and defend it 5 times with the final one being at Starrcade. And then thats it. No special ending or anything, just Congratulation youre truly the Best of the Best or something to that effect. And you can either choose to play in easy, medium, or hard modes and after completing Quest for the Best in each difficulty you unlock a few hidden wrestlers. \
Pay-Per-View: Now this option is really unique. You go to WCW.com or EA.com to find a PPV password and once you enter it you get the full card of an actual PPV to play. I got the entire card for 1999's Halloween Havoc PPV, which was pretty cool. I kinda like this better than the create-a-PPV in Attitude and WM 2000 I dont know why, but its just really cool.
The wrestlers are done using motion-captured graphics, just like in Warzone & Attitude and the wrestlers look way better than they do in those games. I can make out every little detail in most of the wrestlers. You also got live play-by-play commentary with Mean Gene Okerlund announcing the matches, and Shivane doing the commentary. I actually find Schivanes commentary for this game way better than his real-life commentary, its a lot better than the commentary in Attitude all they do in that game is just say comments, but in this game Schivane comments and actually calls the moves as he goes along, I mean I love it when Schivane says, Jericho locks him in the Lion Tamer!
The wrestler entrances are alright, but not as great as they are in Attitude. Wrestlers come out to there theme song, well, actually only there factions theme song, only a few wrestlers have there own music in the game like Sting, Goldberg, Bagwell, and Randy Savage. So the rest of the wrestlers come out to music thats not even theres! I mean, I know a cartridge can only hold so much, but EA surely couldve added more memory to the game so they can add as many theme songs as they can to the game. The wrestlers also do a pose at the entrance ramp, but most of there poses arent even real. I mean a couple do some real great poses like DDP does The Bang symbol, and Goldberg pounds his head like an idiot, but thats about it. I thought I was gonna see Norman Smiley do the Big Wiggle and La Parka do one of his cool struts and was really disappointed that they werent in the game. And the entrance cuts off right when the wrestler does there in the ring taunt! Whats up with that? And how come theres no fireworks? I really wanted to see Goldberg in the pyro! Booooo.
The Game Engine
Ok, this engine is kind of unique, and is somewhat of a crossover of the engines used in WWF Attitude and WWF Wrestlemania 2000 First off let me talk about the life meter. Its sort of a weird spin-off of the special/attitude meter. Any ways it has 8 bars, and it starts every match with 3 bars filled, you dont get it to go up until you do a few moves in a row, and once it goes past its maximum, itll flash red, indicating you can do your signature move out of a grapple by wiggling the control stick.(sort of like in Revenge and WM 2000 but just a tad trickier to pull off.) You do grapples just the way in Revenge, but you press B, instead of A, to initiate a grapple then any button and a direction to do a move.
The coolest thing about wrestling in the game, is if youre doing a singles match, and if both wrestlers run into the entrance outside the ring, youll enter an outside area. This is great! All the outside areas are loaded with weapons and sometimes theres a computer opponent waiting there to jump on you. You can wrestle in many outside areas like the Parking Lot, Ticket Office, Control Room, The Broiler Room, and even the bathroom! This is so fun to do. You can even do pins and submissions here too. Run-ins do occur during matches if youre really wailing on a opponent, but if after you beat up the run in guy, he leaves to the back again.
Now theres really a couple of annoying things for the game engine. Theres always a short loading time before matches and before you appear in the backstage area. Cmon EA! This is the N64, a cartridge based system, there should be no load times! Also if you just do a basic hit or punch it takes your wrestler about 3 seconds to react to it, and thats way to long. Also if you pick up a weapon, and nail them 3 straight times, no matter what, on the 4th try your opponent(person or computer) will always reverse the attack against you and youll lose your weapon! And the clotheslines are poorly animated too they just look like a wrestler falling on the ground! Really stupid! And if youre not exactly right in the corner and you wanna climb the turnbuckles, then youll just end up going outside the ring. This does get rather annoying because no matter how much you beat up your opponent, he always gets up if you do this mistake.
The Final Ratings Rundown
Graphics: Well, as I said before, the wrestelers are animated pretty close to perfection and they do look pretty damn impressive! Also I gotta say I never saw a game before where moves were animated so well, all the body slams, leg drops, and suplexes look great(except for the clothesline). Graphics are definitely this games strong point.
Graphics Score: 9.6
Sound: Okerlund and Schivane do a great job announcing and doing the play-by-play. Like I already said the commentary is way better than in Attitude. But Im not impressed with the amount of entrance themes in the game. Theres only about 8 to 10 themes, which is a real disappointment seeing a wrestler not even coming out to his own music. And the game only uses one set of annoying character grunts which sound like old men. But sound, overall, is pretty impressive.
Sound Score: 7.8
Game Play: I like the variety of modes, and the PPV mode is really great, and the game engine is way better than the one found in Nitro and Thunder but still is plagued with a couple of minor, thank god nor serious, problems. The create-a-wrestler mode seemed rush. I love the fact that Jericho was in the game, and that was one of the main reasons I bought the game(Im the biggest damn Jerichoholic there ever was if you have to know).
Game Play Score: 7.4
Replay Value: Like I said, I love the PPVmode. And most of the modes can be played by up to 4 players. And Quest for the Best is a pretty good single player mode. But the battle royal mode disappoints, and I hate the Create-a-Player mode, but the game is fun to play with your friends so it might keep you stuck to the game for a while.
Replay Value Score: 7.0
Overall Score: 7.9
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 8